This question was put on hold as too broad. As far as I can tell, it isn't too broad - recalculating CR is a defined process, and we already have questions of this type on the site.

As far as I can tell, the question is clear, specific, and on-topic (not that that last was ever in question), so I'm struggling to see why it was closed, and why it attracted Leave Closed reviews in the Reopen queue.

This highly voted comment suggests that close votes might have been due to it being unclear why the user didn't recalculate the CR themselves, but that's not really a problem with the question. It might be a reason to downvote, since it suggests the asker didn't put any effort into it before asking us to do it for them, but it doesn't seem like a reason to close. (See this meta.)

Am I missing a good reason why this question was closed and should remain closed?

Note: Given that the question has begun attracting reopen votes, this meta was probably premature. Still, I won't delete it just yet, particularly since users who voted to close and leave closed may wish to give reasons why it shouldn't be reopened.


2 Answers 2


One of the patterns that I've noticed showing up persistently at RPG.se is what I'll call, for lack of a better term, Low Quality Question Fatigue. The LQQF pattern is visible as the appearance of unusually stringent voting standards being applied to questions asked by certain citizens. The details vary, but it can be downvoting, withholding upvotes, or unusual close-voting (often in combination with slow reopen voting).

This pattern seems to be an emergent community response to a string of questions that seem to be lacking something, whether that's research, writing effort, effort at clarity, putting thought into what exactly the problem is, or… something else indefinable. A few questions like this are just the bread and butter of RPG.se, but the LQQF response kicks in when someone's string of questions continues with no apparent improvement over time.

Is this a problem?

Yes. And also no.

On the one hand, we want questions to be judged fairly, and we naturally expect that a consistent standard is part of fair judgement.

On the other hand, the community's collective “gut sense” of a question is what we're here to harvest via all these voting mechanisms. Though it often looks like we operate by rules and precedent (and we do in part — see the previous hand's point), we develop, refine, and redefine what “quality” means by observing our emergent judgments and the good (or bad) they do for the site.

In some ways, the collective is smarter than the individual citizens. The LQQF pattern is an interesting aspect of that: consistent quality-impaired questions over time are penalised, not on their individual merits as strict fairness would expect, but on their growing effect on the site as a set. That's a clever bit of emergent optimisation for pearls that we can kinda appreciate.

And sometimes the collective's decisions aren't so smart — or, more accurately I think, just need more time to fully emerge in a final “steady state”. The “guts” initial reaction isn't always right, even if their input is valuable and interesting. If the squooshy inarticulable sense of the community is the “guts”, I suppose we can think of the strong impulse towards overt rules-based fairness could be called the community's “superego”.

In this case, I think what happened was a Low Quality Question Fatigue reaction took hold and squashed that question, because the community is tired of something at the gut level (it's always hard to tell exactly what, it not being a unitary individual we can just ask) and it pushed back against that something it detected in this question. But the substance of the question seems fine from the view of fair judgement, and with a bit of light shone on it the “superego” is overturning what the “gut” had chosen.

Today*, the rational mind of the community wins out, and I think it's the right outcome for this question, as you obviously already do. In the next case of LQQF the visceral mind of the community might be the smarter one and reveal a problem our precedents don't handle.

The Computer is Your Friend

So I suppose this is another installment in d7's series on “The System is Working as Intended, Trust the System.”

* For the moment, at least. It is still early say whether “leave open” is the eventual steady state for this question.


The shorter form of explanation is that when people see someone ask a question that's clearly answered in the rules, they ask them "have you read the rules? Are they unclear?" With no response, the question gets closed as unclear, because the OP isn't clarifying what their problem is (not having read the book, or having read it and not understood it).

This is pretty much fine, because if they can't be bothered to answer a clarifying question, it's also unlikely they'll ever be back for an answer. We don't just answer questions for kicks here, we do it to help posters that have the question. As a result, I support its closure as unclear, and think reopens would do better to see some engagement from the OP before white knighting them so hard.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ "and think reopens would do better to see some engagement from the OP before white knighting them so hard." - I'm finding this hard to parse. Do you mean potential reopeners should be waiting for more engagement before trying to fight for the question's reopening? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 3:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes. When people fight for a reopen but the OP can't be bothered to answer clarifiying questions, they are often doing the wrong thing in my experience. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 4:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your comment response IMO nails the issue, and it is something I probably trip over as I open review in a given instance. Sometimes I have more time and invest more time in addressing a question that needs work, and other times I don't. If the querent doesn't want to invest a bit more time, I tend to "pick my spots" on questions that I might try to salvage for their own merit. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 13:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, people get this grandiose thought they are "helping the community." But unless you're really helping the OP, and you only know if you are if they can explain their problem, it is super unlikely someone later on will find it helpful if only because only the truly desperate go "click on every question about CR and read its answers, even if it's incoherent what they're asking so I'm not sure how well the answers will apply to me!" \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 15:14

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